Vocabulary related to horseback riding in French

Horseback riding is a loved sports activity in France. People practise it as a passion. In this article, you will learn about some important vocabulary related to riding a horse in french. Use it to speak about horseback riding when in France.

1. le cheval 

Meaning: a large animal with four legs that people ride on or use for carrying things or pulling vehicles

English: horse

Example: Elle a sélectionné le meilleur cheval du monde pour la course. (She selected the best horse from around the world for the race.)

2. le cavalier

Meaning:a person who rides horses, especially as a sport

English:horse rider

Example: Mon père était un cavalier passionné dans sa jeunesse. (My father was a keen horse rider in his youth.)

3. la selle 

Meaning: a leather seat on a horse:

English: saddle

Example: Sam l’aide à monter en selle puis monte à cheval. (Sam helped her into the saddle and then mounted her horse.)

4. les rênes

Meaning:a long, thin piece of material, especially leather, that helps you to control and direct a horse


Example: Il a fermement agrippé les rênes du cheval avant le début de la course. (He tightly gripped the horse’s reins before the beginning of the race.)

5. la crinière

Meaning :the long hair growing on the back of or around the neck and neighboring parts of some animals, as the horse


Example:Elle préfère acheter des chevaux à crinière épaisse. (She prefers to buy horses with thick mane.)

6. la botte

Meaninga knee-high boot of black or brown leather, without fastenings, forming part of a riding habit

English:riding boots

Example: La botte d’équitation qu’elle a laissée est exposée dans un musée de Riga. (The riding boot she left behind is on display in a Riga museum.)

7. la queue

Meaning: the hindmost part of an animal, especially that forming a distinct, flexible appendage to the back end of its body.


Example: Le cheval a battu sa queue avec colère quand il a été touché par un étranger. (The horse whisked its tail angrily when he was touched by a stranger.)

8. le saut 

Meaning: an act or instance of jumping; leap.

English: jump

Example: Le cheval est tombé au dernier saut. (The horse fell at the last jump.

9. le champ de courses

Meaning :a plot of ground, usually oval, laid out for horse racing.


Example: Après un pouce de pluie sur le champ de courses pendant la nuit, le terrain est décrit comme bon à mou. (After an inch of rain at the racecourse overnight, the going is described as good to soft.)

10.le polo

Meaning: a game played on horseback between two teams, each of four players, the object being to score points by driving a wooden ball into the opponents’ goal using a long-handled mallet.


Example: Le prince Charles est un grand joueur de polo. (Prince Charles is a keen polo player.)

11. le dressage

Meaning :the art or method of training a horse in obedience and in precision of movement.


Example: Quand Sugar n’est pas un mini cheval de dressage, elle est occupée comme un poney d’attelage. (When Sugar isn’t being a mini dressage horse, she is busy as a driving pony.)

12. l’arène

Meaning:a central stage, ring, area, or the like, used for sports or other forms of entertainment, surrounded by seats for spectators

English: arena

Example:Les concurrents se sont réunis dans l’arène pour conclure la cérémonie de clôture. (The competitors gathered in the arena to conclude the closing ceremony.)

13. la course de plat

Meaning:a race run on a level track having no hurdles, water jumps, hedges, or the like to hinder the speed of the entrants.

English: flat race

Example: Mon cheval est un champion de course de plat. (My horse is a flat race champion.)

14.le rodéo

Meaning: a public exhibition of cowboy skills, as bronco riding and calf roping


Example: Ils élevaient les chevaux un par un au rodéo. (They were bringing up the horses one by one at the rodeo.)

15. le galop

Meaning: a fast gait of the horse or other quadruped in which, in the course of each stride, all four feet are off the ground at once


Example: Les chevaux se sont mis au galop fou lorsqu’ils ont entendu le coup de feu. (The horses broke into a mad gallop when they heard the gunshot.)

16. l’enclos

Meaning: the enclosure in which horses are saddled and mounted before a race.

English: paddock

Example: La famille gardait des chevaux dans le paddock derrière la maison. (The family kept horses in the paddock behind the house.)

Now that you have learnt the meanings of these words in French, be sure to use them while you want to talk about horseback riding. For more such vocabulary in French, keep following our blog.

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